As I’ve gotten older, I’ve figured some stuff out. I’ve identified my strengths and weaknesses, I have found talents hidden and underutilized. I know how I handle stress and under what conditions I usually succeed.
I’ve long been a fan of to do lists at work. As my jobs started to come with additional responsibility, I realized the value of taking 10 minutes at the end of the day to jot a quick list for the next day…a good mental exercise and a helpful way to keep myself focused and on task.
The thing I haven’t been prepared for is the need for a personal to do list. I don’t mean errands or grocery shopping. I mean lists that are truly personal — call Katie, email Elizabeth, ask Lex where she wants to have dinner, wish this one luck, ask that one about a sick parent. What happened? I used to be able to be a good person without committing everything to sheet of lined paper.
I’ve come to realize that there’s so much going on, that my memory is naturally starting to lose its sharpest edge, that in order to do the job I most want to do and at which I most want to excel — being a good and thoughtful friend — I’ve got to run a list. It’s not a failure or an indication of lack of importance. Just the opposite, in fact.